Home » Archive by category 'Vatican News' (Page 7)

Jesus helps carry the burdens of those who suffer, Pope Francis says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Men and women who carry the heavy burden of life’s troubles can find relief in Christ, who does not take away the load, but carries it as well, Pope Francis said.

“He waits for us, he always waits for us, not to resolve our problems magically, but to make us strong in our problems. Jesus does not remove the burdens of life, but rather the anguish of heart; he does not take the cross away from us, but carries it with us,” the pope said before praying the Angelus July 9 with people gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Pilgrims take selfies as Pope Francis leads the Angelus July 9 in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)

Pilgrims take photos as Pope Francis leads the Angelus July 9 in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)

The pope’s reflection centered on the Sunday reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew, in which Jesus invites all those who “labor and are burdened” to come to him for rest.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light,” Jesus said.

The pope said Christ excludes no one from this invitation and knows “that many things can make the heart weary.”

Jesus, he added, calls on people to “move and react” rather than to stay “lying there” when things go badly.

“It’s not easy. In dark moments, it is natural to be within one’s self, to brood over how unjust life is, on how ungrateful others are and how evil the world is and so forth,” the pope said.

Instead, Pope Francis said, Jesus wants to pull “us out from this quicksand” and give all people a way out of sadness, which allows them to raise their eyes “toward the one who really loves us.”

“When Jesus enters our life, peace comes; that (peace) which remains even in trials, in sufferings. Let us go to Jesus, let us give him our time, let us meet him every day in prayer, in a confident and personal dialogue; let us familiarize ourselves with his word, let us rediscover his forgiveness without fear, let us be satiated with his bread of life: We will feel loved and consoled by him,” the pope said.

 

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

 

Comments Off on Jesus helps carry the burdens of those who suffer, Pope Francis says

Vatican asks bishops to ensure valid bread and wine are used for Eucharist

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Bishops should look at ways to help verify and guarantee the validity and worthiness of the bread and wine used for the celebration of the Eucharist, the Vatican said in a recent document.

Because bread and wine for the Eucharist are no longer supplied just by religious communities, but “are also sold in supermarkets and other stores and even over the internet,” bishops should set up guidelines, an oversight body and/or even a form of certification to help “remove any doubt about the validity of the matter for the Eucharist,” the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments said.

Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, right, Concelebrates Mass during the "Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America" July 2 in Orlando, Fla.  Bishops should look at ways to help verify and guarantee the validity and worthiness of the bread and wine used for the celebration of the Eucharist, the Vatican said in a recent document. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, right, Concelebrates Mass during the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America” July 2 in Orlando, Fla. Bishops should look at ways to help verify and guarantee the validity and worthiness of the bread and wine used for the celebration of the Eucharist, the Vatican said in a recent document. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

The recommendations came in a circular letter, “On the bread and wine for the Eucharist,” sent to diocesan bishops “at the request of the Holy Father, Pope Francis.” Dated June 15, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, the letter was made public by the Vatican July 8. The letter was signed by Cardinal Robert Sarah, congregation prefect, and Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary.

Because the church requires certainty regarding the conditions necessary for the validity of the sacraments, the congregation offered some suggestions so that bishops can continue to “watch over the quality of the bread and wine” as well as “those who prepare these materials.”

The congregation underlined that every bishop “is bound to remind priests, especially parish priests and rectors of churches, of their responsibility to verify those who provide the bread and wine for the celebration and the worthiness of the material.”

Bishops must also provide information to the producers of the bread and wine for the Eucharist and to remind them of the absolute respect that is due to the norms, it said. Producers “must be aware that their work is directed toward the eucharistic sacrifice and that this demands their honesty, responsibility and competence,” it added.

The congregation suggested ordinaries offer guidance, for example, by “guaranteeing the eucharistic matter through special certification.”

Bishops may want to agree on and establish “concrete regulations” on the national level through their bishops’ conferences, it suggested.

“Given the complexity of situations and circumstances, such as a decrease in respect for the sacred, it may be useful to mandate a competent authority to have oversight in actually guaranteeing the genuineness of the eucharistic matter by producers as well as those responsible for its distribution and sale,” the Vatican congregation wrote.

A competent authority, for example, could be “one or more religious congregations or another body capable of carrying out the necessary checks on production, conservation and sale of the eucharistic bread and wine in a given country and for other countries to which they are exported,” it wrote.

The letter also reiterated norms already in place regarding eucharistic matter:

  • “The bread used in the celebration of the most holy eucharistic sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition.”
  • Bread made from another substance, even grain or mixed with another substance so different from wheat that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, “does not constitute valid matter.”
  • The introduction of any other substances, “such as fruit or sugar or honey, into the bread for confecting the Eucharist,” it said, “is a grave abuse.”
  • Low-gluten hosts are valid matter for people who, “for varying and grave reasons, cannot consume bread made in the usual manner,” provided the hosts “contain a sufficient amount of gluten to obtain the confection of bread without the addition of foreign materials and without the use of procedures that would alter the nature of bread.’
  • Completely gluten-free hosts continue to be “invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.”
  • Wine used in the celebration of the eucharistic “must be natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances,” well conserved and have not soured.
  • “It is altogether forbidden to use wine of doubtful authenticity or provenance.”
  • No other drinks of any kind may not be admitted “for any reason, as they do not constitute valid matter.”
  • For people who, for varying and grave reasons, cannot consume wine fermented in the normal manner, “mustum” is valid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist. Mustum is grape juice that is either fresh or preserved by methods that suspend its fermentation without altering its nature, for example, by freezing.
  • Eucharistic matter made with genetically modified organisms can be considered valid matter.
  • Permission must be given by the ordinary for an individual priest or layperson to use low-gluten hosts or mustum for the celebration of the Eucharist. “Permission can be granted habitually, for as long as the situation continues which occasioned the granting of permission.”

People who live with celiac disease are unable to digest gluten, a type of protein commonly found in grains such as rye, barley and wheat. There also are people who live with nonceliac gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity whose health can be adversely affected by gluten.

The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship has said Catholics who cannot receive Communion wafers at all, even under the species of low-gluten hosts, “may receive Holy Communion under the species of wine only.” The church teaches that “under either species of bread or wine, the whole Christ is received,” it said.

Medical certification of a condition justifying the use of mustum or low-gluten hosts for Communion is not required, the committee said.

 

Comments Off on Vatican asks bishops to ensure valid bread and wine are used for Eucharist

Pope’s children’s hospital is fixing past problems, says cardinal overseer

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — While there had been problems and complaints in the past, the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital was working resolve them, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, who oversees the hospital.

Pope Francis blesses a sick child in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Dec. 15, 2016, during a meeting with patients and workers of Rome's Bambino Gesu children's hospital. Responding to an Associated Press investigation, a top Vatican official said there had been past problems at the hospital, but that the current administration was making a "serious effort to resolve them." (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)

Pope Francis blesses a sick child in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Dec. 15, 2016, during a meeting with patients and workers of Rome’s Bambino Gesu children’s hospital. Responding to an Associated Press investigation, a top Vatican official said there had been past problems at the hospital, but that the current administration was making a “serious effort to resolve them.” (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)

In responding to an investigative report by the Associated Press, the cardinal told the AP July 4 there had been past problems at the hospital, but that the hospital’s current administration, put in place in 2015, was making a “serious effort to resolve them.”

The AP reported July 3 that the Vatican formed a commission in 2014 to study workers’ complaints and concerns about unsafe medical protocols, overcrowding and a culture that emphasized practices that might reap greater revenues.

An external audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2014 determined the hospital’s mission “had been modified in the last few years” by emphasizing expansion and revenues without adequate governance, according to the AP.

In January 2015, the Vatican assembled a team to conduct an announced onsite inspection of the hospital. That team, led by U.S. Sister Carol Keehan — a Daughter of Charity and president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association — determined the commission’s report was unfounded and praised the quality of care at the hospital.

Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman, confirmed in a written statement July 3 that “After hearing complaints about care at the hospital three years ago, the Holy See moved quickly and decisively to study them seriously. After collecting the criticism, a clinical team was commissioned to look at the accusations and visit the hospital. The team found an exceptional level of care at the hospital, and that the accusations were unfounded.”

“The sole critical note concerned inadequate space in intensive care units, something hospital officials are aware of and working to improve,” Burke wrote.

He said the church “welcomes any efforts to help improve that care in its hospitals, including reports of practices that might be below standard. No hospital is perfect, but it is false and unjust to suggest that there are serious threats to the health of children at Bambino Gesu.”

Cardinal Parolin told AP that some of the problems reported by former and current hospital staff in 2014 had been “truly unfounded,” but that “there was an attempt, and there is currently an attempt and serious effort to resolve” those problems that had been confirmed.

Meanwhile, the hospital’s president, Mariella Enoc, told the AP July 4 that the climate at the hospital had become “more serene” since she was appointed by Cardinal Parolin in early 2015. She said she was calling for more open communication and urging people to come forward with any problems in order to talk “and not keep it inside and then have it explode.”

Enoc was appointed after the resignation of Giuseppe Profiti, who had been president of the hospital since 2008. He left less than a year into a renewed term right before the January 2015 onsite Vatican inspection of the hospital, amid rumors that a significant amount of money from the foundation supporting the children’s hospital was used to help finance the remodeling of the apartment of former Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Profiti and Massimo Spina, former treasurer of the hospital, were then subjected to a Vatican investigation in connection to the financing case.

In November 2015, Cardinal Parolin put in a new board of advisers at the Bambino Gesu Foundation with a new set of statutes aimed improving the fundraising body’s transparency.

In December 2015, Pope Francis established a special pontifical commission to study entities operating in the name of the Catholic Church in the field of health care. The body, under the guidance of Cardinal Parolin, who also named Enoc as one of its members, aims to study and propose ways to increase efficiencies, improve governance and collaboration, and protect the religious mission and charisms of the clinics, hospitals or institutes.

When Pope Francis met with staff and patients of the Bambino Gesu hospital Dec. 15, 2016, he emphasized how all those working in the field of health care must help their patients and be on guard against falling down the slippery slope of corruption that begins with special favors, tips and bribes.

“The worst cancer in a hospital like this is corruption,” he said. “In this world where there is so much business involved in health care, so many people are tricked by the sickness industry, Bambino Gesu hospital must learn to say no. Yes, we all are sinners. Corrupt, never.”

 

Comments Off on Pope’s children’s hospital is fixing past problems, says cardinal overseer

Former Vatican spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, dies of cancer

By

VATICAN CITY — Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who spent 22 years as director of the Vatican press office, died at home in Rome July 5 at age 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The current director of the Vatican press office, Greg Burke, announced his death in a tweet.

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who served as director of the Vatican press office from 1984-2006, speaks during a Vatican press conference in this 2014 file photo. He died July 5. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who served as director of the Vatican press office from 1984-2006, speaks during a Vatican press conference in this 2014 file photo. He died July 5. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

In a statement to Catholic News Service, Burke said he did not always agree with Navarro-Valls, but his predecessor “always behaved like a Christian gentleman — and those can be hard to find these days.”

“Joaquin Navarro embodied what Ernest Hemingway defined as courage: grace under pressure. I got to know Navarro when I was working for Time, and the magazine named John Paul II Man of the Year. I expected to find a man of faith, but I found a man of faith who was also a first-class professional.”

Burke said he remembered watching Navarro-Valls closely during the 1994 U.N. International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, which Burke described as “one of the best examples of what Pope Francis calls ideological colonization. It was fascinating to see someone who was defending the faith, but he wasn’t on the defensive. He was leading the fight.”

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, who succeeded Navarro-Valls as Vatican press director beginning in 2006, remembered him as a “master in the way he carried out his service.”

“Navarro always remained a friend for me, an example of discreet spiritual life, true and profound, fully integrated in his work, a model of dedication at the service of the pope and the church, a master of communications, although for me, as I have already said, but repeat, inimitable,” Father Lombardi said in an editorial published July 6 on Vatican Radio.

Born in Cartagena, Spain, Nov. 16, 1936, Navarro-Valls joined Opus Dei after meeting St. Josemaria Escriva.

He studied internal medicine and psychiatry before obtaining degrees in journalism and communications sciences. He moved to Rome in 1970, where he collaborated with the Opus Dei founder.  

He became a correspondent for the Spanish newspaper ABC and was elected twice as president of the Rome-based Foreign Press Association in Italy before becoming the first lay journalist to become director of the Vatican Press Office when he was appointed by St. John Paul II in 1984.

After leaving his post at the Vatican, he served as president of the advisory board of the Opus Dei-affiliated Campus Biomedical University in Rome until his death.

An author of books on the family and fluent in several languages, Navarro-Valls often provided colorful, picturesque details concerning St. John Paul’s activities and daily life. He also acted many times as an adviser to the pope on the media impact of papal decisions.

He traveled with St. John Paul on almost all his apostolic journeys and became a well-recognized figure, especially after the pope became ill in 2004. He regularly held press conferences to relay news to the world of the pope’s deteriorating condition.

In 1992, Navarro-Valls overhauled the press office with a $2 million technological face-lift along with much-needed, modernized facilities. He also revolutionized the distribution of material by making archives, documents and statistics concerning the pope’s activity available online.

According to the Opus Dei website, a wake was to be held at Rome’s Basilica of St. Eugene July 6. His funeral was to be presided by Msgr. Mariano Fazio, vicar general of Opus Dei, July 7.

Comments Off on Former Vatican spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, dies of cancer

Pope names archbishop to succeed Cardinal Muller at doctrine office

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Promoting the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the office of prefect, Pope Francis chose not to ask German Cardinal Gerhard Muller to serve a second five-year term in the post.

Spanish Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, 73, has been appointed by Pope Francis as the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Jesuit theologian has served as secretary of the congregation since 2008. He is pictured at a Vatican press conference for the release of Pope Francis' documents on marriage annulments in this Sept. 8, 2015, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Spanish Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, 73, has been appointed by Pope Francis as the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Jesuit theologian has served as secretary of the congregation since 2008. He is pictured at a Vatican press conference for the release of Pope Francis’ documents on marriage annulments in this Sept. 8, 2015, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The Vatican announced July 1 that the pope chose as prefect Spanish Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, 73, a Jesuit theologian who had been appointed secretary of the congregation in 2008 by then-Pope Benedict XVI.

“The Holy Father Francis thanked His Eminence Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller at the conclusion of his quinquennial mandate,” the Vatican announcement said. No new position was announced for Cardinal Muller, who at 69 is still more than five years away from the normal retirement age for a bishop.

Anticipating an announcement of the pope’s decision June 30, both the English Rorate Caeli blog and the Italian Corrispondenza Romana blog presented the pope’s move as a dismissal of the German cardinal, who originally was appointed to the post by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Francis had met that morning with Cardinal Muller, whose five-year term was to end July 2.

Both Rorate Caeli and Corrispondenza Romana implied Cardinal Muller was let go because he insisted that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics could not receive Communion unless they made a commitment to abstain from sexual relations with their new partners. Other bishops and bishops’ conferences have read Pope Francis’ exhortation on the family, “Amoris Laetitia,” as presenting a process of discernment that in certain circumstances could allow some couples to return to the sacraments.

Cardinal Mueller told the German daily, Allgemeine Zeitung, that”There were no disagreements between Pope Francis and me” and that there had been no dispute over “Amoris Laetitia,” the newspaper reported July 2. The cardinal spoke with reporters while he was in Mainz celebrating his 50th high school reunion July 1 and Mass July 2 commemorating the 29th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Hermann Volk of Mainz, who ordained him to the priesthood in 1978.

According to the interview with Allgemeine Zeitung, the cardinal said the pope’s decision had been unexpected since such terms were usually renewed, but that he was not bothered by it.

“I do not mind,” he said, adding that “everyone has to stop” at some point.

“The five-year term had now expired,” he said. The cardinal told the newspaper that Pope Francis wanted, in general, to limit the term of office to five years and he just happened to be the first person to which the new standard applied.

However, he said he regretted losing three staff members of the doctrinal congregation after Pope Francis let them go “a few weeks ago,” according to the German newspaper. “They were competent people,” the cardinal said.

He said he would stay in Rome and continue working in pastoral care and continue scholarly, academic pursuits,”continue my role as a cardinal.” He is a member of the congregations for Eastern Churches, for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and for Catholic Education. He is a member of the pontifical councils for Legislative Texts, for Promoting Christian Unity and for Culture.

“I have plenty to do in Rome,” he said, even though at the age of 69, he said, “I would normally already be retired.”

Cardinal Muller was the first Vatican official formally confirmed in his post by Pope Francis after his election in 2013 and was among the 19 churchmen named cardinals that year by Pope Francis.

The prefect of the doctrinal congregation is responsible for promoting the correct interpretation of Catholic doctrine and theology; his office also is responsible for conducting investigations of clergy accused of sexually abusing minors.

Resigning from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Marie Collins, one of the founding members and the last remaining abuse survivor on the commission, said members of the Roman Curia were reluctant to implement the commission’s recommendations and she particularly cited Cardinal Muller.

Speaking to reporters in May on his flight from Fatima, Portugal, to Rome, Pope Francis said Collins was “a little bit right” because of the slow pace of investigating so many cases of alleged abuse.

However, the pope said the delays were due to the need to draft new legislation and to the fact that few people have been trained to investigate allegations of abuse. Cardinal Muller and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, he added, were looking “for new people.”

As head of the doctrinal congregation, the prefect also serves as president the Pontifical Biblical Commission, the International Theological Commission and the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” which is responsible for the pastoral care of traditionalist Catholics and for the ongoing reconciliation talks with the Society of St. Pius X.

The new prefect, Archbishop Ladaria, was appointed congregation secretary by Pope Benedict after having worked with him as a member of the International Theological Commission in 1992-1997, as a consultant to the doctrinal congregation from 1995 to 2008 and as secretary general of the theological commission from 2004 until being named congregation secretary.

Archbishop Ladaria was born in Manacor, Mallorca, April 19, 1944, and earned a law degree at the University of Madrid before entering the Society of Jesus in 1966. After theology and philosophy studies in Spain and Germany, he was ordained to the priesthood July 29, 1973.

He earned a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1975 and began teaching dogmatic theology at the Pontifical University Comillas in Madrid. Nine years later, he began teaching at the Gregorian and served as vice rector of the university from 1986 to 1994.

Before the debate over “Amoris Laetitia,” Cardinal Muller made headlines for his role in the Vatican critique of the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious and for his friendship with Dominican Father Gustavo Gutierrez, considered the father of liberation theology.

In 2004, he co-authored a book, “On the Side of the Poor: The Theology of Liberation,” with Father Gutierrez. In the 1990s, when then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger headed the congregation before becoming Pope Benedict, Father Gutierrez was asked by the congregation to write and rewrite articles clarifying some of his theological and pastoral points.

In a 2012 interview with the Vatican newspaper, then-Archbishop Muller said he was invited to participate in a seminar with Father Gutierrez in 1988, and he went “with some reservations” because the doctrinal congregation had criticized aspects of liberation theology that it said were too influenced by Marxist ideology.

“One must distinguish between an erroneous and a correct liberation theology,” Archbishop Muller told the newspaper. While a Catholic must reject Marxist ideas and analysis, he said, “we must ask ourselves sincerely: How can we speak about the love and mercy of God in the face of the suffering of so many people who do not have food, water, medical care; who don’t know how to give their own children a future; where human dignity really is lacking; where human rights are ignored by the powerful?”

Before being named prefect of the doctrinal congregation, Cardinal Muller had served five years as one of its members and had been a member of the International Theological Commission from 1998 to 2003. Pope Benedict led both bodies until 2005, when he was elected pontiff.

Cardinal Muller has close ties to retired Pope Benedict and in 2008 helped establish the Pope Benedict XVI Institute, which is publishing a complete collection of works by the German-born pope and theologian.

When he was appointed prefect of the doctrinal congregation by Pope Benedict in 2012, he told the Vatican newspaper his job in Rome would be “to relieve part of his work and not bring him problems that can be resolved” at the level of the congregation.

Cardinal Muller is a native of Mainz, Germany. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1978 and served in his native diocese as a chaplain and high school religion teacher. With degrees in philosophy and a doctorate in theology, he was a professor of dogmatic theology in Munich from 1986 to 2002.

He was named bishop of Regensburg in 2002 and then-Cardinal Ratzinger attended his episcopal ordination. Then-Bishop Muller chose as his episcopal motto “Dominus Iesus” (Jesus Is Lord), which comes from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans and is the title of the 2000 document on salvation through Christ alone, issued by the doctrinal congregation under then-Cardinal Ratzinger.

Comments Off on Pope names archbishop to succeed Cardinal Muller at doctrine office

Poverty, inequality in Latin America at crisis levels, Pope Francis says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Latin America’s traditional social values of cooperation and solidarity must prevail over the societal ills that threaten the livelihood of the region’s inhabitants, Pope Francis said.

A woman begs for money in Guatemala City in this 2011 file photo. (CNS photo/Saul Martinez)

A woman begs for money in Guatemala City in this 2011 file photo. (CNS photo/Saul Martinez)

The current social and economic crisis facing Latin American countries has allowed for the “growth of poverty, unemployment, social inequality” and a situation in which the planet, “our common home, is exploited and abused,” the pope said June 30.

“This is at a level that we never would have imagined 10 years ago. In the face of this situation, an analysis is needed that takes into account the reality of concrete people, the reality of our people,” he told members of the Italian-Latin American International Organization.

Founded in 1966, the international organization seeks to increase “economic, social, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation” between Latin American countries and Italy, according to the group’s website.

Its 21 member states are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Commemorating the organization’s 50th anniversary, the pope said that to achieve the goal of promoting development and cooperation, the organization must first identify the potential of Latin American countries, who are “rich in history, culture, natural resources” and “good and caring” people.

“This has been proven in the face of recent natural disasters in how they have helped each other, becoming an example for the entire international community,” he said. “All these social values are there, but they have to be appreciated in order to be empowered.”

The Italian-Latin American International Organization, he continued, also must “coordinate efforts” to respond to the challenges facing Latin American countries, and particularly the challenge of migration.

Migration has increased “in a way never before seen,” the pope said, and many of those on the move in a search for a better life “suffer the violation of their rights,” he said. The risks are especially high for children and young adults who are victims of trafficking or “fall into the networks of criminality and organized crime.”

“A joint cooperation policy needs to be developed in order to address this issue,” he said. “It isn’t about looking for those who are guilty and avoid responsibility, but rather that we all are called to work in a coordinated manner.”

Pope Francis said that by promoting a “culture of dialogue” in politics, the Italian-Latin American International Organization can foster an atmosphere that allows for the exchange of ideas and concerns for the good of all people.

“It is a mutual exchange of trust which knows that on the other side there is a brother or sister with a hand outstretched to help, who desires the good of both parties and wants to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and friendship to advance along the paths of justice and peace,” he said.

 

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

Comments Off on Poverty, inequality in Latin America at crisis levels, Pope Francis says

Pope tells archbishops not to be ‘armchair Catholics,’ but apostles

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The Catholic Church’s new cardinals and new archbishops must be willing to risk everything, patiently endure evil and bear crosses like Jesus did, Pope Francis said.

“The Lord answers our prayers. He is faithful to the love we have professed for him, and he stands beside us at times of trial.” Just as he accompanied the apostles, “he will do the same for you,” the pope told five new cardinals and about 30 archbishops named during the past year.

Pope Francis presents a box containing a pallium to Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, N.J., at the conclusion of Mass marking the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 29. New archbishops from around the world received their palliums from the pope. The actual imposition of the pallium will take place in the archbishop's archdiocese. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis presents a box containing a pallium to Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, N.J., at the conclusion of Mass marking the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 29. New archbishops from around the world received their palliums from the pope. The actual imposition of the pallium will take place in the archbishop’s archdiocese. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis addressed the new cardinals and archbishops during his homily at a Mass in St. Peter’s Square June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, who are the patron saints of the Vatican and the city of Rome.

The Mass was celebrated the day after Pope Francis created new cardinals from El Salvador, Mali, Laos, Sweden and Spain. Thirty-six archbishops appointed over the course of the past year were also invited to come to Rome to concelebrate the feast day Mass with Pope Francis. They came from 26 countries.

The concelebrants included Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, New Jersey; and Archbishops Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage, Alaska; and Charles C. Thompson of Indianapolis. All three of the U.S. prelates have deep connections to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Archbishop Etienne was a priest of the archdiocese and Cardinal Tobin is the former archbishop.

In what has become the standard practice, the pope did not place the pallium on new archbishops during the liturgy. Rather, after the Mass, the pope handed each archbishop a pallium folded up in a small, simple wooden box tied with a brown ribbon as a soloist sang “You Got to Walk that Lonesome Valley,” a traditional American gospel song.

The actual imposition of the woolen band was to take place in the archbishop’s archdiocese in the presence of his faithful and bishops from neighboring dioceses. The pallium symbolizes an archbishop’s unity with the pope and his authority and responsibility to care for the flock the pope entrusted to him.

After the Mass, Cardinal Tobin told Catholic News Service that St. John XXIII had said “cardinals and bishops are the coat hangers on which the church hangs its tradition. Now I don’t like being a coat hanger, but the thing I like to wear the most is the pallium.”

Being made of lamb’s wool, the pallium is a reminder of “the need and really the obligation of the bishop to look for the one who is lost and then bring the lost one back on his shoulders,” the cardinal said. “I hope to do that in Newark.”

Archbishop Etienne noted that the pallium also is “symbolic of the unity of the metropolitan archbishops with the Holy Father and, through him, with the universal church.”

It tells an archbishop that his role is to be a good shepherd to his flock, “to help the people entrusted to my pastoral care to learn to live in unity and peace, to manifest that truth and love of Jesus Christ and the Gospel,” he said.

“The role of every priest, and particularly every bishop, is to be more and more transformed into Christ and that’s my prayer,” Archbishop Etienne said. “And then whatever burdens come and challenges, I’ll find my peace because I will be firmly convinced in experiencing his presence with me.”

Archbishop Thompson told CNS he received the pallium from Pope Francis as a gift for the sixth anniversary of his ordination as a bishop.

Pope Francis “has been such a great model, example and witness, and to receive this from him,” the archbishop said, is “a reminder to go forth. I think about Jesus at the Last Supper when he washed the feet of the disciples and said, ‘Now, go and do as I have done.’”

Archbishop Thompson said he kept watching Pope Francis during the Mass and looking at the pallium the pope wears as a symbol of the universality of his mission. “I watched him in his role of being the shepherd” and knew the pope was calling him “now to go forth and be that shepherd for the people entrusted to my care.”

In his homily at the Mass, the pope said the life of every apostle is built on: constant, edifying prayer; a firm, passionate profession of faith; and a willingness to patiently endure persecution.

People must ask themselves whether they are “armchair Catholics, who love to chat about how things are going in the church and the world,” he said, or if they are “apostles on the go,” who are on fire with love for God and ready to offer their lives for him.

Apostles of Christ “know that they cannot just tread water or take the easy way out, but have to risk putting out into the deep, daily renewing their self-offering,” he said.

Christians must follow the Lord completely and live according to his ways, not ways guided by personal self-interest, he said. Christ’s way “is that of new life, of joy and resurrection; it is also the way that passes through the cross and persecution.”

In different parts of the world, “often in complicit silence, great numbers of Christians are marginalized, vilified, discriminated against, subjected to violence and even death, not infrequently without due intervention on the part of those who could defend their sacrosanct rights,” the pope said.

However, there is no Christ and no Christian without the cross, he said. “Christian virtue is not only a matter of doing good, but of tolerating evil as well,” he said, quoting St. Augustine.

Enduring evil means “imitating Jesus, carrying our burden, shouldering it for his sake and that of others,” knowing that the Lord is by one’s side.

Finally, the pope said, prayer is another essential element of the life of an apostle as it “is the water needed to nurture hope and increase fidelity. Prayer makes us feel loved and it enables us to love in turn.”

As is customary, a delegation from the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople attended the Mass for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Before the Mass, Archbishop Job of Telmessos, head of the Orthodox delegation, joined the pope in prayer at the tomb of St. Peter inside St. Peter’s Basilica. The two also stopped before a bronze statue of St. Peter, which was adorned with a jeweled tiara, ring and red cope.

Contributing to this story were Cindy Wooden and Junno Arocho Esteves.

Comments Off on Pope tells archbishops not to be ‘armchair Catholics,’ but apostles

Cardinal Pell, professing innocence, will face sexual abuse charges in Australia

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Proclaiming his innocence after being charged with sexual abuse, Australian Cardinal George Pell said, “I’m looking forward finally to having my day in court.”

“I’m innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me,” he said June 29 during a brief news conference in the Vatican press office. Read more »

Comments Off on Cardinal Pell, professing innocence, will face sexual abuse charges in Australia

Francis: Christians fight evil with love, sacrifice, not with violence

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Christians are called to detach themselves from power, reject violence and sacrifice themselves for God and others out of love, Pope Francis said.

Christians must live the way Christ chose to: not as “persecutors, but persecuted; not arrogant, but meek; not as snake-oil salesmen, but subservient to the truth; not impostors, but honest,” he said June 28 during his weekly general audience.

Pope Francis greets a baby during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis greets a baby during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

In fact, “Christians find repugnant the idea that suicide attackers might be called martyrs because there is nothing in their purpose that can come close to the behavior of children of God,” who are called always to act out of love, he told the estimated 12,000 pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square.

High temperatures and scattered sprinkles prompted the pope to tell guests in the Vatican audience hall that he was about to head outside to a “Turkish bath.”

In his weekly catechesis, the pope continued his series on Christian hope by focusing on what gives Christians strength and perseverance in the face of opposition, hatred and persecution.

Jesus dispelled all “mirages of easy success,” the pope said, and he warned his disciples that proclaiming the kingdom of God would come at a high price as “you will be hated by all because of my name.”

“Christians love, but they are not always loved,” the pope said.

Because the world is marked by sin, selfishness, injustice and hostility, he said, it is normal that Christians are expected to go against the current and live the way Christ lived and taught.

The Christian lifestyle must be marked by “poverty,” he said, noting how Jesus talks to his disciples more about “stripping” themselves than about “getting dressed.”

“Indeed, a Christian who is not humble and poor, detached from wealth and power and, above all, detached from him- or herself, does not resemble Jesus,” he said.

Christians journey forth into the world with the bare essentials, except their heart, which should be overflowing with love, he added.

In the Gospel of Matthew (10:16-22), Jesus warned his disciples that he was sending them “like sheep in the midst of wolves.” They could be shrewd and prudent, the pope said, but never violent because evil can never be defeated with evil.

That is why Jesus sent his people into the world like himself, as sheep — without sharp teeth, without claws, without weapons — Pope Francis said. In fact, “true defeat” for a Christian is to succumb to the temptation of responding to the world’s resistance and hatred with violence, revenge and evil.

The only weapons Christians possess are the Gospel and the hopeful assurance that God is always by their side, especially in the worst of times.

Persecution, then, doesn’t contradict the Gospel, it is part of its very nature, because if the Lord was hated and persecuted, the pope said, “how can we ever hope that we should be spared this battle?”

Yet, “in the great midst of the maelstrom, Christians must not lose hope, believing they have been abandoned,” he said.

Christians know that in their midst, there is always a divine power greater than all evil, “stronger than the Mafia, murky conspiracies, (stronger) than those who profit off the lives of the desperate, those who crush others with arrogance,” he said.

On the eve of the feast of the martyred Sts. Peter and Paul and just a few hours before he was to create new cardinals whose red robes symbolize martyrdom, Pope Francis underlined the real meaning of martyrdom in his catechesis.

“Martyrs do not live for themselves, they do not fight to assert their own ideas, and they accept having to die only out of fidelity to the Gospel” and with love, which is the highest ideal in Christian life, he said.

This, the pope said, is the strength that animates and sustains people facing so much hardship: knowing that “nothing and no one can separate them from God’s love given to us in Jesus Christ.”

Comments Off on Francis: Christians fight evil with love, sacrifice, not with violence

Don’t fear ridicule for sharing the Gospel, pope says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Bringing the Gospel to the world isn’t a walk in the park; it will lead to ridicule and contempt, even persecution, Pope Francis said.

But Christians must never be afraid and must keep on going since “Jesus never leaves us on our own because we are precious to him,” the pope said before praying the Angelus June 25 with people gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Pilgrims are seen through the spray from a fountain as Pope Francis leads his Angelus in St. Peter's Square June 25 at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

Pilgrims are seen through the spray from a fountain as Pope Francis leads his Angelus in St. Peter’s Square June 25 at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

The pope’s reflection centered on the day’s readings (Jeremiah 20:10-13 and Matthew 10:26-33), which speak about God always being with his people no matter what. In fact, in the Gospel reading Jesus tells his disciples three times to not be afraid and to “proclaim on the housetops” what has been revealed to them in a whisper.

The Lord still tells people today to never be afraid, the pope said. Christians must never forget that; especially “when we have some ordeal, persecution, something that makes us suffer, let us listen to Jesus’ voice in our heart.”

Going on mission is not a form of “tourism” or a vacation where life will be carefree, he said; there may be failure and pain as people may refuse the Gospel message or persecute the messenger.

“This is a bit frightening, but it’s the truth,” the pope said.

The pope reminded everyone that persecution against Christians was still happening today. He asked people to pray for those who endure persecution and “continue to give witness to the faith with courage and fidelity.”

He asked that their example be an inspiration to those who live where hostility and adversity may not be so apparent, but the challenges are still great.

“There are many who smile to our face, but behind our backs, fight the Gospel,” he said.

Also, instead of being a sheep among wolves, a disciple may have to be like a sentinel, trying to wake up people “who do not want to snapped out of a worldly stupor, who ignore the words of truth of the Gospel and fabricate their own ephemeral truths.”

“If we go to or live in these contexts and we proclaim the words of the Gospel, this will bother people and they will not look at us well,” the pope said.

Each disciple is called to conform his or her life to Christ and since Christ was refused, abandoned, persecuted and killed, disciples be prepared for the same, he said.

“There is no such thing as Christian mission marked by tranquility,” the pope said. “Difficulties and tribulation are part of the work of evangelization and we are called to find in these things an occasion to ensure the authenticity of our faith and our relationship with Jesus.”

      Enduring trouble in Christ’s name is an opportunity to grow in trusting in God, who “does not abandon his children” in the midst of the storm, he said.

Comments Off on Don’t fear ridicule for sharing the Gospel, pope says
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.